The nursing home resident council unlike the family council is a resident organization within the nursing home or assisted living facility whose members usually are residents of the home. All residents of the home can participate in the resident council just by the fact that they reside within the home. The resident council has powerful rights in nursing homes and assisted living facilities (boarding homes), these resident council rights protect the rights of residents.
The resident council is not governed by nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The long term care ombudsman is mandated to protect the rights of resident councils in nursing homes. The long term care ombudsman also protects residents' rights, quality of life and care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The resident council provides a vehicle for residents to participate in decision-making and for residents to voice grievances and resolve differences. Usually residents, who are able, take on the role of speaking up for those who cannot. Every nursing home resident council is different, due to differences in both the residents who participate and in the level of support and responsiveness from the facility.
The Nursing Home Reform Law and federal regulations require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to assist in the establishment of resident councils. The nursing home resident council movement has grown into a vital part, in the health, safety, and welfare of residents in nursing homes. The Resident Councils of Washington can provide you more information about how to form or develop a nursing home resident council.
(1) Each facility shall have resident council consisting of representatives elected by facility residents. Elections shall be held annually.
(2) The council shall annually elect a chair from among its members. The chair shall call and preside at council meetings.
(3) The resident council shall serve in an advisory capacity to the respective administrators and to the director in all matters related to policy and operational decisions affecting resident care and life in the facility, to include, but not be limited to, input into the biennial budget making process and facility supplementary policies and procedures. The administrator shall give due and proper consideration to such input.
(4) Each resident council shall:
(a) Actively participate in development of choices regarding activities, food, living arrangements, personal care and other aspects of resident life; and
(b) When so requested by a resident, serve as an advocate in resolving grievances and ensuring resident rights are observed.